Tag Archives: daniel

Comfortable Discomfort (originally aired March 27, 2008)

“Now I, Daniel, alone saw the vision, while the men who were with me did not see the vision; nevertheless, a great dread fell on them, and they ran away to hide themselves.” Daniel 10:7

God’s presence always brings fear and trembling. We immediately recognize our dirtiness compared to His holiness.  It brings reality to our need for Him.

Even those present with Daniel that couldn’t see the angel were struck with fear and awe.  Daniel was the one in the presence of holiness, the one worshipping, but the others also felt the effects.  The presence of God is so awesome that even those that deny it are affected by it.

If the presence of God always brings this type of discomfort, then why do we work so hard to make church services so comfortable? Don’t we want the presence of God in church? We can’t have the presence of God without the reality of His holiness compared with our un-holiness and the discomfort that the conflict between the two brings.

Please understand that I’m an advocate for church being a place that non-Christians can come and feel welcome.  The gauntlet we walk is to show them that even though the presence of God can seem overwhelming, intimidating and even tyrannical the reality is that the presence of God is the safest place to be.  That’s because He chooses and loves us unconditionally in-spite of ourselves. As Christians we understand that we are the scum of the universe, but we rest in, rely on and are comforted by the reality of God’s love for us anyway.  Jesus didn’t say, “blessed are the comfortable for they shall be comforted.”  No, He said that those who mourn, or are uncomfortable, will be comforted.  How can we know comfort if we never experience discomfort?

Daniel trembled because he knew that standing in God’s presence means death; either the death of whatever is unholy or the death of any flesh that clings to the unholy.  One way or an other death is coming.  Daniel mourned the death that was coming; either his death or the death of what he held dear. But, Daniel treasured the eternal reality of God’s comfort through His holiness more than the temporal counterfeit comfort that earthly possessions bring. It was because of the overwhelming fear and comfort of God’s holiness that He was able to show His singularly abundant comfort to Daniel.  Daniel lived in the comfort of knowing and living God’s purpose for his life, even though it was rarely comfortable. The more uncomfortable we become, the more of God’s comfort we can experience in His purpose for us.

So, go ahead God, make us uncomfortable so that we can experience your complete comfort. Then we’ll be ready to give an account of our comfort through our worship.

That’s why worship

Lessons from the Daniel Fast

Today’s post is from special guest blogger Jennifer Bassett. Yep, my amazing (and most babe-alicious) wife. This is really great stuff, folks.

Joe and I (and Caribeth) have been doing a 21-day fast searching for Gods plan and for Him to move on our behalf (among other things). Caribeth has been fasting from sugar while Joe and I have been doing the fruits & veggies only Daniel Fast. Its been awesome! Among the incredible benefits of this fast are things like finding out that Jacksonville has an amazing Farmer’s Market, we can live without meat, dairy and sugar, making up new veggie dishes is fun, and “resolve” is a powerful character trait when we seek God’s clarity for our lives.

I believe that a big part of the clarity that one receives from fasting is the fact that the enemy hates our resolve to do it and begins to really press our buttons and bring to mind our failings and unworthiness. Which backfires as we humble ourselves further before the King of kings and beat back the enemy with a pressing on toward the goal stick. Our faith and trust (which always go hand in hand) are exercised, and our appetite for things unseen becomes insatiable. He truly becomes our Portion.

While studying Daniel last night, I had a revvie. We were asked how we thought Daniel must have felt as he watched the captivity of Israel taking place before his young eyes. Many answered, scared, lonely, worried. But God revealed to me the thought that Daniel knew what was to come. The prophecies had been told for generations. This was the heritage that he lived. I wondered though, did any of them live like it was going to happen at any moment? Maybe at first, like when a hurricane is forcast – we all stock up on water and essentials and get our homes in order. Certain things become a priority and others fall by the wayside. But, what if that hurricane wasn’t coming for generations?

We talk about the trumpet call and longing for Jesus return. We see the signs everyday. But I know I dont live like it may happen tomorrow. What would I risk if I believed His return was imminent? I tell you what I WOULDNT do. I wouldnt be letting Satan mess with me. I wouldnt take his mind games about what others think or are saying about me. I wouldnt let him play me like he does, allowing myself to wallow in the what-ifs and replaying moments in my mind that i had no control over. I wouldnt fear others opinions more than Gods. And I certainly wouldnt mourn over the loss of the things of this earth.

I would risk it all for the glory of His name, and love like Ive never been hurt. I would walk with my head held high like a daughter of the King should walk, and I would worship Him unabashedly! I would dance like David danced and jump for JOY!

The enemy is defeated! The victory is won! The captives have been set free! Mourning is over…it’s time to take off the sack cloth and ashes, stand up, and feast at the King’s table.